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Medical TermDescription
acneA common inflammation of the sebaceous glands and hair follicles.
actinic keratosisPre-cancerous patch of thick, scaly, or crusty skin secondary to extensive sun exposure
albinismGenetic disorders causing the skin, hair, or eyes to have little or no color.
aloeThe dried juice of aloe plant leaves. Used to treat minor wounds, burns and skin irritations.
alopeciaA disorder in which the immune system attacks hair follicles in the scalp.
birthmarkA benign skin blemish present at birth.
blisterVisible accumulations of watery fluid within or beneath the epidermis.
boilA tender, inflamed area of skin that contains pus.
bruiseA contusion.
bullaA fluid-filled blister with a diameter over 5 mm.
capillary hemangiomaA common benign tumors of infancy caused by an abnormal buildup of blood vessels under the skin. Also called a 'strawberry mark'.
carbuncleA skin infection that often involves a group of hair follicles. The infected material forms a lump, which occurs deep in the skin and may contain pus.
cellulitisA common skin infection caused by bacteria. It affects the middle layer of the skin (dermis) and the tissues below. S
chloasmaA condition in which brown patches appear on the face. Can be caused by hormonal changes during pregnancy or from sun exposure.
cicatrixA scar left after the healing of a wound.
comedoA blackhead.
contusionInjury caused by a blow to the body but that does not break the skin. A bruise. Characterized by swelling, pain and discoloration.
danderFine, dry scales from the scalp.
dandruffExcessive shedding of dry scaly material from the scalp.
debridementA procedure used to remove dead tissue and contaminated substances from a wound, by soaking or excising.
deodorantA substance that represses or masks odors.
dermatitisInflammation of the skin. May be caused by allergic reaction, drugs, infection or sun exposure.
diaper rashDermatitis of the buttocks and thighs due to contact with urine or feces.
diaphoresisProfuse sweating that is artificially induced.
dysplastic neviUnusual, benign moles that may resemble melanoma.
ecchymosisDiscolored skin due to subcutaneous bleeding larger than 1cm. Commonly called a bruise.
eczemaInflammation of the skin. Multiple causes.
epidermisThe superficial avascular layers of the skin,
epitheliumlayers of cells that line hollow organs and glands. It is also those cells that make up the outer surface of the body
erythemaRedness of the skin that results from capillary congestion.
erythrodermaAn intense and usually widespread reddening of the skin.
exanthemA widespread rash that is usually accompanied by symptoms that include fever, malaise and headache.
exfoliative dermatitisA widespread scaling of the skin, often with itching (pruritus), skin redness (erythroderma), and hair loss.
follicul/ofollicle (small cavity)
folliculitisAn infection in the hair follicles.
furunclesA boil, which are bacterial or fungal infections of hair follicles.
granulomaA clump of cells that forms when the immune system fights harmful substance but cannot remove it from the body. Often foreign bodies stimulate these cells.
hairA threadlike specialized epidermal structure developing from a papilla sunk in the dermis.
hematomaAn abnormal collection of blood outside of a blood vessel. A bruise.
hirsutismExcessive hairiness in women, usually caused by hormonal imbalance.
ichthyosisA family of skin disorders characterized by dry, thickened skin.
impetigoA contagious skin condition common in children, caused by streptococcus, staphylococcus.
intraductal papillomaBenign tumors that grow within the breast ducts
keloidAn overgrowth of scar tissue that develops around a wound
koilonychiaA disease of the fingernails, where they become thin and concave.
lip/ofat, lipid
lipedemaA chronic disease that occurs mostly in females. It is characterized by bilateral, symmetrical fatty tissue excess, mainly in the legs.
lipomaA noncancerous growth of fatty tissue cells. Occurs over area of past trauma.
maculeSmall flat skin spots on the skin.
malignant melanomaThe most dangerous form of skin cancer. Melanomas are usually brown or black, but can appear pink, tan, or even white.
melan/oblack, dark
necrotizing fasciitisA rare but serious infection caused by bacteria. It destroys skin, fat and tissue covering muscles.
onych/ofingernail, toenail
onychocryptosisAn ingrown toenail.
onychomycosisA fungal infection of the nails.
papul/opapule, pimple
papuleA solid raised lesion that has distinct borders and is less than 1 cm in diameter.
paronychiaAn infection of the skin around a fingernail or toenail.
pediculosisHead lice.
petechiaeTiny flat round red spots under the skin surface caused by intradermal hemorrhage. Spots do NOT blanch with pressure.
psoriasisA skin disease that causes itchy patches of thick, red skin with silvery scales on the scalp and flexor joint surfaces.
purpuraBlood spots on the skin that are purple-colored, between 4-10 mm resembling bruising.
purulentPertaining to pus.
rashA temporary eruption of spots on the skin.
rhytidectomyA facelift.
rosaceaA common, chronic skin condition characterized by facial redness and often small, red pus-filled bumps. Also known as "Adult Acne".
scabiesItchy skin caused by a tiny burrowing mite. Symptoms worse at night.
scarA permanent mark remaining after a wound heals.
sclerodermaAn autoimmune, chronic disease that affects the body by hardening connective tissue.
seborrheaA common skin problem that causes a red, itchy rash and white scales. On the scalp, it is called dandruff.
skinThe tough, supple, outer covering of the body that protects it from the environment. It is the largest organ of the body and is composed of the dermis and the epidermis.
squamous cell carcinomaMost squamous cell cancers occur on skin that is regularly exposed to sunlight or other ultraviolet radiation. It is the second most common type of cancer in the United States.
sunburnAn injury to the skin due to excessive sun exposure, causing erythema, tenderness, and sometimes blistering.
systemic lupus erythematosusAn autoimmune disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue.
tineaA fungal skin infection, including ringworm, athlete's foot and jock itch.
urticariaHives, which are welts on the skin that often itch
verrucaePlantar warts that commonly occur on the soles of the feet or around the toe area.
vitiligoA chronic disease that causes white patches develop on the skin.
wartBenign epidermal growth.
whealA small swelling on the skin, as from an insect bite, that usually itches
xerodermaAn inherited condition characterized by an extreme sensitivity to ultraviolet rays from sunlight.

Authors and Reviewers

Authored by Dr. Barbara A. Erickson
Medically reviewed by Dr. Jonathan Keroes, MD
Last Update: 12/18/2022

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